As COVID-19 surges and curfew takes hold, El Paso leaders encourage voters to keep heading to the polls

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An early voting site at the El Paso County Coliseum on Monday. Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — When El Pasoan Kevin Goode saw the latest news about the novel coronavirus over the weekend, he knew what he needed to do Monday: cast his ballot in the 2020 presidential election.

“I was planning on voting anyway but right now, since there are not that many people [here] I thought it would be safer,” he said at Basset Place, a local shopping complex that’s been one of the county’s busiest voting sites during the state’s early voting period. “I would rather do it now, before [the pandemic] got worse."

El Paso County is following two national trends: its voter turnout so far is on pace to overwhelmingly surpass 2016’s numbers. And the number of reported cases of the novel coronavirus here are surging to levels unseen in the seven months since the pandemic first hit Texas.